Meego 1.0 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012

While on the topic of Meego, just a quick note for those looking to install on the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012.

Meego itself generally runs quite well on this device, but this machine has a Broadcom BCM4212 wireless chipset (also known as a Dell Wireless 1397) which although supported by the Linux b43 driver is not supported by Meego 1.0. Although Meego 1.0 has a new enough kernel (2.6.33.3), it is unfortunately not a simple case of using the firmware cutting tool to extract the firmware, the module itself is compiled out. This is Meego bug #287.

Your other (non-free) option is to use Broadcom’s STA driver. You’re going to need to yum install make gcc diffutils kernel-netbook-devel to build the module.

Finally if you’re looking to buy a netbook, also know that the trackpad is on this device is pretty frustrating under X due to the buttons being under the touch surface (it’s only slightly less frustrating in Windows 7, to be honest). Collabora X Guru Daniel Stone tells me support for trackpads with buttons under the touch surface is getting better so it’s a lot less annoying jumpy, but it still needs more work. I’ve been using an external mouse.

The Meego 1.0 People Panel

So Meego 1.0 for Netbooks shipped last week. Although I miss that tubby cat, Meego 1.0 is very visually attractive and quite nifty.

One of the really neat things about Meego is how it integrates messaging right into the interface. Unsurprisingly, this messaging is powered by Telepathy, the framework that makes communications into a service that you can use throughout your product. Collabora, with its team of Telepathic Ninjas, helped Intel with some of the Telepathy integration for this release.

Meego 1.0 People Panel
Meego 1.0 People Panel

The People Panel shows your available contacts on the left, and a list of your ongoing conversations on the right. Each conversation lists the number of unread messages.

This integration requires no code in Telepathy, and is all done using a Telepathy Observer (I’ve talked about Observers before). This will work with Empathy, or any other well behaved chat client (as it turned out that Empathy originally wasn’t well behaved, that had to be fixed, those fixes are in Empathy 2.30).

Mission Control allows any application to ensure a communications channel exists, and find an appropriate application to handle that channel. This means that double clicking on a user or ongoing conversation in the People Panel causes Mission Control to signal Empathy (the handler) to bring that conversation to the user’s attention (pop it up) or open a new window if required, even though the People Panel and Empathy are completely separate applications and completely unaware of one another. Again this will work with any well behaved chat client.

This same feature could easily be integrated into GNOME Shell or anywhere else. The code to implement this in Meego is free software.